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NFL Draft 2019: Who'll be the Number 1 in Nashville?

NFL Draft 2019: Who'll be the Number 1 in Nashville?
The cream of America's collegiate football stars will graduate to the NFL tonight at the 2019 NFL Draft. Here's everything you need to know ahead of tonight's gala opening night in Nashville, Tennessee.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The 2019 NFL Draft will see 254 collegiate players selected by NFL teams over seven rounds of selections. The draft selection order is initially determined in reverse order of team performance the previous season, but with teams able to use their draft picks as currency to trade players, teams can head into the draft with more, or fewer, than the standard allocation of seven picks.

The draft starts with the team holding pick number 1, and they have 10 minutes to submit their selection. If they fail to beat the deadline, they lose their spot and the next team in line gets their chance to pick.

Sometimes teams submit their picks straight away, but other times, especially with teams looking to strike deals during the draft itself, things can go down to the wire. It's always tense and always intriguing, with each team sitting in their respective 'war room' debating late trades or last-minute changes before settling on their final picks.

WHAT'S THE CURRENT DRAFT ORDER?

Here is the provisional list for Thursday night's first round:

  1. Arizona Cardinals
  2. San Francisco 49ers
  3. New York Jets
  4. Oakland Raiders
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  6. New York Giants
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars
  8. Detroit Lions
  9. Buffalo Bills
  10. Denver Broncos
  11. Cincinnati Bengals
  12. Green Bay Packers
  13. Miami Dolphins
  14. Atlanta Falcons
  15. Washington Redskins
  16. Carolina Panthers
  17. New York Giants
  18. Minnesota Vikings
  19. Tennessee Titans
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers
  21. Seattle Seahawks
  22. Baltimore Ravens
  23. Houston Texans
  24. Oakland Raiders
  25. Philadelphia Eagles
  26. Indianapolis Colts
  27. Oakland Raiders
  28. Los Angeles Chargers
  29. Seattle Seahawks
  30. Green Bay Packers
  31. Los Angeles Rams
  32. New England Patriots

WHO'S GOING AT NUMBER ONE?

The long-held belief is the Arizona Cardinals will select pint-sized Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray. The Cardinals hired former Texas A&M offensive co-ordinator and former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury to run their team, and he recruited Murray earlier in his college career.

He's also been quoted as saying: "I'd take him with the first pick of the draft if I could."

Well, now he can, and it's widely expected that he will. It means current quarterback Josh Rosen, who they traded up to land in the first round of last year's draft, may be surplus to requirements and traded away, possibly as early as tonight.

That first pick - and the fallout from it - will be one of THE stories of the draft.


WHO ARE THE KEY NAMES TO WATCH FOR?

Quarterbacks are always big news in the NFL Draft, and as well as Murray, there has been some real interest in quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones, with many expecting at least two - or perhaps all three - of them to be taken in the first round.

Tight end T.J. Hockensen is a highly-rated prospect who could prove an excellent fit for a number of teams, while on the defensive side of the ball there is a host of top-rated prospects.

Edge rusher Nick Bosa and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams are considered the two best overall players in the draft, while linebacker namesakes Devin White and Devin Bush are both projected to be selected early in this year's first round.

And wide receiver Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown is the cousin of former Steelers wideout Antonio Brown, who joined the Raiders during the off-season. He's lightning fast and would prove a real asset to a number of teams with established quarterbacks at the helm.

WHICH TEAMS SHOULD WE LOOK OUT FOR?

After trading away two of their biggest stars, linebacker Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper, last year, the Oakland Raiders now have some solid draft capital heading into tonight's first round.

It's expected that head coach John Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock will use those picks to bolster their defense, but there has been a suggestion that one of those picks might potentially see them take a quarterback.

That would set the cat among the pigeons with established starter Derek Carr, who is a better player than the Raiders' performance in recent seasons may suggest.

It's also worth keeping an eye out for teams who have a need to meet, but don't have the draft position to get it. Those teams will need to strike trades on the night to move up the draft order and get their man, and the prime candidates for that are the Washington Redskins.

They have the 15th pick and desperately need a quarterback. Depending on who they want, they may well have to trade up to get him.


WHO'S TAKING A QUARTERBACK EARLY?

The quarterback position is the most important position in any team, and there are a host of teams who desperately need a new signal-caller in their team. The big question is - who will take one and who will keep their powder dry ahead of next year's draft?

It's been widely expected that the Cardinals will kick off the draft by taking Murray, but if they shocked the world and didn't, things could get VERY interesting.

And with the Raiders, Giants, Broncos, Dolphins, Bengals and Redskins all reportedly considering moves for a play-caller in this year's draft, we could see a real shake-up early on.

The Broncos traded for veteran quarterback Joe Flacco early in the summer, but that is only a stop-gap solution for the struggling team, and a QB pick at No.10, or a trade up for a second first-round pick, could see them grab someone like Lock or Haskins. Watch this space.

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